If you’re like most employers, you often get excited about a candidate during the first interview, and by the second or third meeting, your heart is set. But somewhere between the moment your decision is made and the delivery of the formal written offer, your amazing candidate somehow slips away. The next time you hear about her, she’s working for one of your competitors. How does this happen? And how can you keep it from happening over and over again? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
When a brilliant candidate comes within reach, don’t assume that you know what she wants. Just ask. Be direct. Make focused inquiries and learn everything you can about her short term and long term career goals, her priorities, her salary needs, and the accommodations that she’ll require in order to offer her best work.
Provide exposure and experience in addition to traditional perks.
You’ll need to provide room for advancement and a competitive salary, of course, but sometimes candidates are looking for very specific forms of career development. This may include access to a mentor that they’ve been admiring for a long time, or exposure to a new aspect of the business they haven’t yet mastered. Sometimes this includes training and continuing education opportunities they can’t find elsewhere.
Never assume that your candidate needs you more than you need her. Show respect, professionalism, and interest during every stage of the selectin process. This will mean going out of your way to protect your candidate from hassle, cost, and inconvenience (limit your interview process to three rounds or fewer), and it will also mean keeping your interviews positive. Far too often, employers subject candidates to aggressive cross-examinations and then wonder why their offers are rejected.
Produce the offer quickly.
Once your mind is made up, act fast. Don’t leave your candidate waiting by the phone or the mailbox for a formal offer. If key HR personnel are away on vacation or C-level decision makers drag their feet, apply pressure and find workarounds. Don’t let simple bottlenecks and administrative delays cause you to miss out on a valuable opportunity.
Know your value proposition.
What does your company have to offer that others don’t? Recognize the qualities that make your organization special and help you stand out among others in your industry. These qualities may include your financial stability, your commitment to sustainability, your global reach, your industry leadership role, or your workplace culture.
For more on how to attract and retain the attention of top candidates, reach out to the staffing and management team at Cordia.